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Dawson gives up WBC strap in hopes to land Tarver

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.


Source: Dan Rafael

Let's say you're Chad Dawson, WBC light heavyweight titleholder. You have one option, which is go to Romania and fight dangerous Adrian Diaconu in a fight that isn't a money bout, won't get U.S. TV coverage unless Don King swoops in to save the day if at all possible, and just isn't where you see yourself right now.

The other option is a potential fight with notoriously duck-happy Antonio Tarver, who has fled from a fight with Danny Green within the last seven months.

Maybe if I'm Chad Dawson, I take care of overdue business with Diaconu and them try for Tarver. But Chad Dawson, the real guy, has made the decision to vacate the WBC strap and go after a fight with "The Magic Man."

Seems riskier than fighting Diaconu to me. If Tarver pulls a Tarver and prices himself too high (although I'm willing to bet Showtime will go the extra mile for Antonio, as they've done numerous times in the last year or so), then Dawson has nothing. He has no title, he's too good and young for most of the division to fight without one on the line, and since he's not yet a real star, he's got no bankable fallbacks, and he might end up fighting Diaconu in Romania-type bouts anyway.

I would guess Dawson sees Tarver as an easy mark. Tarver dominated Clinton Woods, but Woods just looked awful in that fight. He also beat up on Danny Santiago last December and looked terrible doing so, and struggled before that with Elvir Muriqi, though of course Tarver thought he adjusted to turn in the performance of a lifetime.

I have my doubts that Tarver will actually fight Dawson, is my point. It's the best fight for Antonio, but also the most difficult. A young, fast, fellow southpaw? Doesn't sound great for Tarver. He probably knows that.

Then again, maybe Antonio comes out and looks good and beats Dawson. Bad Chad is hardly invulnerable. Glen Johnson made him work and gassed him out in a really good, competitive fight.

We'll see. For Dawson's sake, I hope he's made the right choice.

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